ADHD, Combined Type in Mental Health

  • Oct. 10, 2020, 5:22 p.m.
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“This, the most common type of ADHD, is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors as well as inattention and distractibility.”

To me, it kinda seems like double-whammy ADHD. I wish I only had half these problems.

So, I went to a mental health clinic just over a month ago and I took both the CAARS (The Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scales) and the MMPI-2RF (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form). Diagnostic impression: ADHD, Combined Type and Bipolar Disorder.

The tests confirmed what I felt like I already knew. The results were validating, vindicating. I’ve fought with these things for so long and I’m just so tired. Now I have a path forward. My doctor has prescribed Adderall (I’m waiting on the necessary forms and pre-approvals and whatnots). I have a choice to make regarding my therapy and bipolar medications. My doctor will not prescribe those, says I need a psychiatrist for that. There is no independent psychiatrist within at least a hundred miles that accepts my insurance. My only option would be to drop the therapist I’ve been working with since April, enroll in a program through a community health center, receive evaluation and therapy through them, and then maybe, maybe, in a few months they’ll send me on to their psychiatrist for meds.

I’m not planning on being here that long, so…

In my entire bipolar life, I have only been on bipolar meds once, for about 8 months to a year. It’s almost impossible to get proper treatment without insurance and low-income clinics are mostly just pill mills. They chew you up and spit you out with some prescriptions you probably can’t afford, here, try these for 3 months and see how you do. The state of my life at that time and the fact that I was on a major opiate for anxiety, well… I have no idea if Prozac and Lithium worked or not. I was too busy getting my ass beat by my ex and trying to keep child protection from taking my kids away while also working a full-time job and going to college 3 nights a week.

Anyway. I’ve struggled for a long time and I’ve survived, so I can survive a bit longer, however long it takes to get myself settled where I’m going and get myself into treatment.

I’m not excited about taking a stimulant, but I am a bit hopeful that the Adderall will alleviate at least some of my ADHD symptoms. Any little bit would help. And I’ve still got my Buspar for anxiety, which would be a million times worse without it, so there’s that. I’ve made tremendous strides in dealing with the PTSD aspect of my anxiety, recognizing triggers and working to process them in a healthy way. It’s a tricky thing, though, that PTSD. Just when I think, “Oh, I’ve come so far, this is wonderful, I haven’t had a triggered meltdown in ages…” BAM. Have a trigger, right up in your face, didn’t see that coming, did you? They are fewer and farther between, sure, but it does still happen.

And bipolar disorder. Well.

I can be on top of the world today and tomorrow the world could be ending. Or the world could feel like it was crushing me today, but tomorrow will be all sunshine and kittens. Sometimes I feel “good” for a few days. Sometimes I feel really, really great. But there’s always a come-down. On the flip side of that is, when I’m down, I always get back up.

It’s not a mood, it’s a state of being, and it’s constantly fluctuating with pretty much no warning. I also have very little control of how low the lows can get. The highs can be just as brutal in their own way.

It’s fucking exhausting, honestly. Maintaining day after day.

Anyway, yeah. That’s where I’m at today. Cautiously hopeful that a pill will help mitigate a small fraction of the onslaught of symptoms.

Last updated October 10, 2020

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